If you are beginning, start with longboarding.
Longboarding is better because it provides a place to start. As a beginner, it is the best thing you can do for your skateboarding journey. The longboard will build your foundation, and you can then move on towards skateboarding.
Longboarding is cost-effective, easy to learn, and incredibly diverse.
The Origin Of Longboards And Skateboards
These two boards have existed for nearly 75 years. During the 50s, surfers were obsessed with their sport. Of course, they can’t spend the day and night surfing, so they wanted the same surfing experience on land.
To gain this experience on the road, they took a wooden plank, cut a board from it, and stuck some wheels underneath. That is when skateboards were born. However, after a while, they realized that it was too wide and flat to do tricks.
To overcome this problem, they made it smaller, but by the 70s and 80s, they realized it had become too small. Finally, they redesigned the board to achieve what we now know as a longboard.
The Difference Between Longboarding And Skateboarding
Here are a few vital differences between these two that make them useful for different functions:
Size And Shape
As the name suggests, longboards are longer and wider than a skateboard. They can go as long as sixty inches. On the other hand, the skateboards are not typically longer than thirty-six inches.
That is why it is easy for beginners to ride a longboard. The size makes it easier and flexible to cruise. The shape of the longboard is flat, while skateboards have a curved shape.
Longboards are ideal for carving. Not sure what carving is? Read “What Is Longboard Carving?“
Wheels And Trucks
If you don’t know what trucks are, they are the base where the wheels attach. The trucks’ function and look are different for both types of boards. First, let’s understand the wheels and trucks of the skateboard.
Skateboard trucks are narrow and rigid. They are created this way so that you can easily perform any tricks. The wheels are also smaller and harder. That makes it easy to shred ledges, rails, and gaps.
Longboard trucks are much more flexible and wide. That makes it easy to cruise and experience a smooth ride. The wheels are also large and soft so that you can have a more stable and smooth ride.
The base of the board is known as a deck. If you want to purchase a board to learn and perform tricks, you will need the board to have flex, i.e., stiffness. A soft flex means that your board will not be good for cruising only.
That is why if you want to learn new tricks, you will want the flex of your deck to be medium or soft. That will give you enough stability and bounce to jump with your board and nail new tricks.
You can’t do all tricks on any one of these boards. Both serve different functions and are created for performing different tricks. A longboard will allow you to:
- Cruise with your friends
- Provide you a smoother and more stable riding experience
- Do old school tricks
- Conquer hills
On the other hand, a skateboard will allow you to:
- Master the art of ollies
- Sweet kickflips
- Grind rails
- Skate mini ramps
- Learn a wide variety of new tricks
Last but not least, balance is an important difference too. If you are new to the world of skateboarding and longboarding, you should begin with a longboard first. That is because they are longer and wider, which means you will get the balance and stability you need in the beginning.
However, once you have had enough practice and are more confident in your skills, you can switch to a skateboard. Before you start riding, make sure you practice your balance and stance on the skateboard to make the transition easier.
The Pros And Cons Of Longboarding And Skateboarding
If you still aren’t sure what to go with, here are some pros and cons of both these boards so you can make an informed decision. Let’s begin with the pros and cons of longboarding:
- Perfect for fast commuting and cruising
- An ideal choice for beginners
- Provides more stability and balance
- Easy to avoid collisions and stay safe while riding
- Steep hills are not ideal for longboarding
- You can carry them anywhere, but they can be heavy and bulky
- It doesn’t work too well if there is snow or rain
Let’s move on towards skateboarding:
- Easy to carry because they are small
- You can quickly learn new and fun tricks
- There is a wide variety of an affordable range
- They are more agile
- You can learn many street moves
- They are more speedy, so you need to wear protective gear to avoid injuries
- Suitable for immediate to advanced learners as a skateboard is not beginner-friendly
Why Is Longboarding Popular?
Skateboards are much older, and longboards are a much recent emergence. Ever since their inception, they have become increasingly popular, and here are the many reasons why:
People are always looking for what to do in their free time, and skateboarding is not beginner-friendly. That is why longboarding emerged. There was a need for a much more flexible and stable board so people could invest their time.
It allowed people to invest their time in a new physical skill that they could quickly learn. Many families and youngsters started purchasing to learn something new while spending time with their loved ones.
Helps People Stay In Shape
Did you know that longboarding is a great workout? You can get or stay in shape with the help of a longboard. That is why many people started longboarding once it emerged so that they could invest in their health.
Longboarding is a great substitute for cardio training as it is low impact but also raises your heartbeat. All your muscles work when you are riding a longboard, such as your lumbar muscles, thighs, abs, calves, and many others.
If you are freestyling and doing tricks, then many more muscles will get activated. That is why it is a popular option among young adults to get in shape, especially in college.
Commuting is perhaps the biggest reason why longboards gained their popularity. College students and teenagers needed a faster way to get commute around the campus or from home to school and vice versa. Once they discovered the longboard, commuting became much easier.
They could efficiently cruise from one place to the other in a fun way. The longboard is fast turning and responsive, which means you can easily cruise on the sidewalks too. Soon, this increased the popularity of the longboard, and many students started using it for commute and still do.
Even people in crowded urban spaces love to use a longboard for commuting because it is fast, easy, and the most convenient option.
Why Is Skateboarding Popular?
Skateboarding is more than just a fun activity now. It is a sport, and it was set to make its debut in the 2020 summer Olympics. So, here are the top reasons why skateboarding is more popular than ever now:
A skateboard is incredibly accessible. They are available everywhere, from your local shops to online stores. However, the best part is that even skateparks are everywhere now.
You will find hundreds of skateparks in any city, making it accessible from anywhere. So, all kids need to do is get a board and go to their nearest park. Such ease and accessibility increased the popularity of skateboards over time.
Also, don’t forget there are cool electric skateboards out there too.
We all have different ways in which we express ourselves. A skateboard allows people to do many tricks and styles, and that is a way they can express their individuality. With time, a skateboarder will develop their style.
That is why many young adults try skateboarding because it gives them an outlet to express themselves. However, according to a recent survey, even adults are now going back to skateboarding more than ever to express themselves.
Sense Of Belonging
Skateboarders have a strong sense of community. You can take your board to the nearest skatepark and make tons of friends. It provides people the sense of belonging they need in their community.
It doesn’t matter what level of a skater you are because the park is filled with many. That is why many people took it up as a hobby. They wanted a sense of community and people they could share their interests with.
Many individuals get confused between skateboards and longboards. As a beginner, it can be confusing to tell the difference between them. However, both of them are entirely different and are made for different purposes.
If you can’t tell the difference, then don’t worry. You are in the right place. Hopefully, in this beginner’s guide, we explored what both of these are so that you can gain a better insight.
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